Business entities in Spain

Spain legal business structuresHealy Consultants Group PLC will assist our Clients with Spain business setup after advising the optimum corporate structure for their Firm. Our services in Spain include i) Spain company incorporation, ii) government license registration, iii) corporate bank account opening, iv) employee recruitment, v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.

Click the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information:

  • The Spanish Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada)

    • This is the most commonly used entity for starting a new business in Spain. A Spanish LLC must appoint 1 director and 1 shareholder, who can be of any nationality and residence;
    • The minimum share capital required is €3,000 that needs to be paid in before company formation.

    Best uses for a Spanish Limited Liability Company: this type of business structure is ideal for small and medium sized businesses.

  • The Spanish Public Liability Company (Sociedad Anonima)

    • This business entity is recommended when the stakeholders intend to publicly list the company. Such structure requires a minimum capital of €60,000, 25% of which needs to be paid up at the time of incorporation;
    • The minimum required appointments include 1 director and 1 shareholder, who can be of any nationality;
    • To give your company a marketing edge, Healy Consultants recommends our Clients establish a Spanish PLC instead of an LLC. In Spain, it is not necessary for a PLC to list on the stock exchange. Furthermore, it is not mandatory for a PLC to submit an internal audit.

    Best uses for a Spanish Public Limited Company: larger corporations prefer to register a PLC in Spain in order to quickly and efficiently increase their pool of investments.

  • Branch Office (Sucursal)

    • Spanish corporate law allows a branch office to be 100% foreign owned, and its scope of operations is defined by the parent company;
    • The branch office is allowed to have an independent management team and operate corporate bank account based in Spain;
    • In addition to the corporate taxes, Spanish branches face an additional branch remittance tax of 19%;
    • Branches are formed by a public deed which must be registered at Spain’s Mercantile Registry;
    • It is mandatory for a branch of a foreign company to appoint a resident individual or entity as the legal representative to the tax authorities;

    Best uses for a Spanish branch office: Financial conglomerates, such as banks, prefer to register a branch office in order to consolidate their profits globally.

  • Representative office (Oficina de representacion)

    • While the Spanish representative office can be 100% foreign owned, this structure is not allowed to engage in direct sales within Spain;
    • Consequently, the representative office in Spain can only engage in i) market research and ii) promoting the business and services of the parent company.

    Best uses for a Spanish representative office: Before setting up a new company from zero in Spain, many investors prefer to explore the market and engage in promotional activities via a representative office.

  • The Spanish free trade zone company

    • Free trade zones in Spain allow businesses involved in manufacturing and export trading to benefit from the multiple investment incentives rolled out by the government;
    • The companies in these free zones are eligible for reduced corporate income tax rates, lower VAT rates, and exemption from paying duties;
    • The criteria to register an entity differ depending on the free zone, but they all have a minimum capital investment requirement and a minimum job creation requirement to secure a free zone license;

    Best uses for a Spanish free trade zone company: This entity is ideal to establish an export-oriented business in Spain and benefit from the EU trade bloc benefits.

  • Table of comparison between Spain entities

     Limited Liability CompanyPublic Limited CompanyBranch OfficeRepresentative Office
    Also known associedad limitadasociedad anonimasucursaloficina de representacion
    How long to set the company up?3 weeks4 weeks5 weeks5 weeks
    How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
    Legal LiabilityLimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
    Wholly Foreign ownedYesYesYesYes
    Minimum paid-up share capital€3,000€60,00000
    File annual tax returnYesYesYesNo
    Tax Registration Certificate required?YesYesYesNo
    Recommended corporate Bank AccountBanco SantanderBBVABanco SabadellLa Caixa
    Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
    Resident director requiredNoNoNoNo
    Resident shareholder requiredNoNoNoNo
    Minimum directors allowed1111
    Minimum shareholders1100
    Each shareholder and director must have a TINYesYesYesYes
    Spain resident company secretary requiredYesYesYesYes
    Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesNo
    Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesYesYes
    Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesYes
    Spain Corporate Tax Rate25%25%25%0
    Annual financial statements requiredYesYesYesNo
    Statutory audit requiredNoYesYesNo
    Allowed to issue sales invoicesYesYesYesNo
    Allowed to sign contractsYesYesYesNo
    Allowed to import and export goodsYesYesYesNo
    Can rent an office in SpainYesYesYesYes
    Can buy Spain property?YesYesYesNo
    Can own equity in other Spain companies?YesYesYesNo
    Estimate of engagement costs
    Total Spain business setup costs in Yr. 114,68915,88915,88913,139
    Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)3,4003,4003,4003,400
    Sample Engagement fee InvoiceView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Spain, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi